I’ve been working on Italeri’s 1/72 B-52G since April and I am glad and in some ways sad to see it finished. For the countless hours of filling and sanding to the scratch building of the bombay, it was a healthy task to accept.
Back in February, on our trip to Florida, my father-in-law and I took a flight on a Stearman. When we got back, I grabbed one in my inventory and built it for him. Long story short, his boss’s husband liked the models that I had built for my father- in-law(B-17G, Ford Tri Motor, USS Oriskany, and now the Stearman). Wonderfully enough, he was in the Air Force and flew in a B-52G. I offered to build a model for him and needless to say I was a little overwhelmed. The biggest kit I had built was a C-130. A challenge is a great thing for a modeler. It makes us work harder to succeed. It makes us look closer at the details.
To make things easier, I started on all of the ground equipment and figures first. It took me about eighty hours to complete them all. Next, I chose to piece the B-52 together. I built the engines and then moved to the landing gear. I built a total of eighteen 500lb. bombs and twelve JDAM’s. I tried to keep it as simple as I could.
The time came to start on the plane itself. Before I could do anything, I had to cut out the bombay doors. Almost immediately after I cut them out, I realized that they were double hinged. I had to cut one in half and put it back on the plane. More customization later. The fuselage was a bad fit entirely. I had to saw the halves apart near the wing to force it flush. Even then it wasn’t 100%. Out came my Craftsman hand sander. I used 400 grit sandpaper to get the problem areas down and then switched to 600 grit. I know it sounds like a gruesome method, but it worked. After the torture, I filled all the gaps with Testors putty. A few more rounds of this and I was ready for final sanding. I used 1000 grit for this.
Next came the assembly of the huge wings. Right from the start there were issues to address. In certain areas, plastic was missing. Luckily most of it was on the bottom of the wings. After corrections, normal filling and sanding did the trick. After attaching the wings to the fuselage, all that was left was the final prep work. I had to cut new panel lines on the top of the fuselage from the heavy sanding.
Painting this monster was the easiest part. My paint of choice for this kit was all Model Masters paints. I started by painting the entire plane in SAC Bomber Green(FS34159). When that cured, I used Dark Green(FS34079) to start the camouflage. Next came SAC Bomber Tan to finish off the camouflage scheme. I shot the nose with Euro I Gray(FS36081) to complete the paint job.
Final assembly is one of my favorite steps in the building process. The fruits of your labor are finally showing. For the most part, assembly went smooth. I ended up using spare parts from an F-22 Raptor and an Oriskany kit to scratch build the bombay. The landing gear gave me a few headaches fitting, but I was able to make do. For the decals, I ended up using the ones provided with the kit. Coincidentally it turns out that he actually flew on this tail number. For the base, I used masonite spray painted gray. I used a sharpie to grid the concrete and added oil spots for more realism. Arrange, super glue, and finished. This was definitely my most challenging build. I put many hours into this kit and looking back, I enjoyed every bit of it. Then I had to give it away. It ended up being a birthday present and I couldn’t have asked for a better recipient. Although it was hard to let go, I know that it will be appreciated. Ultimately, the challenge of the build exceeds the end result for me. Now here comes the kit list.
1/72 Italeri B-52G
Hasegawa US Aircraft Weapons Loading Set
Hasegawa US Aerospace Ground Equipment Set
Hasegawa US Pilot/Ground Crew Set
Hasegawa Aircraft Weapons:1
Hasegawa Aircraft Weapons:1X
Buff Master Designs ejection seats
Buff Master Designs HSAB’s(Heavy Stores Adapter Beam)
Central Valley HO scale ladders
SAC landing gear
True Details wheel set
I built two of the old 1/72 Monogram B-52 kits back in the ’60s — one of them for heir by a B-52 pilot back when my father was in SAC and flying the KC-135.
Awesome. They are a beast of a kit.
It was awesome. Know what would be even more awesome? If I could spell “hire” properly. ;o)